Sept 15, 2012: Ex Klinec Manufacturing workers gathered for a social at WWAC
September 18, 2012|Posted in: Uncategorised
The workers brought food and mingled with each other and community allies for 3 hours Saturday afternoon and the Workers’ Centre. This was an effort to have the workers come together informally after resigning from the workplace and after having filed for EI and job searching assistance at the Unemployed Help Centre.
The workers have many stories about their years at the plant and we encouraged them to think about sharing them, as it is so important to learn as much as possible about the working lives of those in precarious forms of work. Here is how the Law Commission of Ontario, in its interim report on vulnerable workers and precarious work, defines these terms:
“Precarious work is characterized by lack of continuity, low wages, lack of benefits and possibly greater risk of injury and ill health…Measures of precariousness are level of earnings, level of employer-provided benefits, degree of regulatory protection and degree of control or influence within the labour process…”
“It has been said that “the sector in which workers are employed, the size of the enterprise in which they work, the non-standard nature of their employment contract and their demographic circumstances are markers that help to identify them as ‘vulnerable’”. In this paper, vulnerable workers are those whose work can be described as “precarious” and whose vulnerability is underlined by their “social location” (that is, by their ethnicity, sex, ability and immigration status).
Therefore, vulnerability in this context refers not to the workers themselves but to the situation facing them, both in their work environment and in other aspects of their lives such as their health, their families, their ability to participate in their community and their integration into Ontario life.”
WWAC Volunteer Christa Couvillon, Dr Alan Hall, and Paul Chislett were on hand Saturday for WWAC, and Rachelle Cohoe, Ken Lewenza Jr., and Rob McGuffin of the CAW were also on hand. The CAW members had been first on the scene during the August 10th walkout by the Klinec workers and many CAW members helped blockade the plant entrances and negotiate with the owner while the workers decided on whether to take the pay cut or not. In the end the workers decided to resign rather than accept a pay cut in a workplace that routinely denied them their dignity.
Board president WWEC, member at large Social Justice Windsor District Labour Council, host of campus community radio program The ShakeUp on CJAM 99.1FM